Open main menu

[Post-Captain of 1814.]

Entered the navy in Jan. 1781, and was a midshipman on board the Shrewsbury 74, Captain (now Sir John) Knight, in the actions between Sir Samuel Hood and the Count de Grasse, at the anchorage before Basseterre, in Jan. 1782[1]. We subsequently find him serving under Commodore Edward Thompson, in the Grampus 50, on the coast of Africa.

At the commencement of the French revolutionary war, Mr. Palmer joined the Robust 74, commanded by the late Lord Keith, from which ship he was promoted into the Nemesis 28, Captain Lord Amelius Beauclerk, at Toulon, in Sept. 1793. He also served under the latter officer in the Juno 32[2].

The Juno being paid off soon after her escape from Mons. Richery, Lieutenant Palmer was appointed to the Phoenix 36, Captain Lawrence William Halsted, in which ship he assisted at the capture of the Dutch frigate Argo, May 12, 1796[3], In the following month he rejoined Lord Amelius Beauclerk, with whom he continued to serve in the Dryad and la Fortunée, on the Irish and Channel stations, until the peace of Amiens. During that period, he assisted at the capture of the following French privateers:–

Le Vautour, brig, of 9 guns and 78 men, Oct. 16, 1796.
L’Eclair, . . ., __ 14 108 Aug. 19, 1797.
[4] La Cornelie, . . ., __ 12 90 Sept. 9,
La Brune, . . ., __ 16 180 Oct. 10,
Le Mars, . . ., __ 16 222 Feb. 4, 1798.
Le Mascarade, schooner __ 12 40 Apr. 5 and 20,
Le Renard, lugger __ 10 unknown 1801.

In Nov. 1802, Lieutenant Palmer was appointed first of the Venerable 74, Captain John Clarke Searle; with whom he removed to the Monarch 74, bearing the flag of Lord Keith, in 1803. Between that time and his promotion to the rank of commander, Jan. 22, 1806, he had charge of various cruisers, off Boulogne, during the temporary absence of their captains. At the latter period, he was appointed to the Pheasant 18, in which sloop he accompanied the expedition under Sir Samuel Achmuty, to the Rio de la Plata.

On the 16th Jan. 1807, Captain Palmer disembarked with the troops about to besiege Monte Video, leaving the Pheasant in charge of his first lieutenant, now Commander William Pearce Stanley. After the storming of that fortress, Feb. 3, he was detached by Rear-Admiral Stirling, with a light squadron under his orders, to assist in taking possession of Colonia del Sacramento, which service was performed, in conjunction with a body of troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Dennis Pack, on the 16th of the following month. His conduct throughout the whole of the campaign in South America was highly approved of by both the military and naval chiefs.

Subsequent to her return from thence, the Pheasant was employed in convoying the trade to Africa, the West Indies, and Newfoundland. She also cruised with some success on the Guernsey and Plymouth stations. Among other prizes taken by her were three French privateers carrying 25 guns and 155 men. Captain Palmer continued to command her until posted into the Wanderer of 20 guns, Oct. 9, 1814.

The subject of this sketch died at Thorn Falcon, near Taunton, co. Somerset, in July, 1828.